Salam & Hello!,
My name is Afifah Emir but you can call me Pipah as that's how i am fondly called by my siblings,close family members & friends. Calling Fifah would be more glamour . In the Malay community when a name that is supposedly pronounced with a "F" e.g. Afifah, Latifah, Faridah but then you pronounce them with a "P" that is Apipah, Latipah and Paridah , they sound so "Kampung" Its okay with me, just call me Pipah. I was brought up in a small kampung call Bendang Panjang in the Royal town of Kuala Kangsar.
I developed my passion for travel since a little girl. I used to follow my Abah (dad in Arabic) from town to town in his van to sell his medicines. I believe me and a few other brothers & sisters are among the lucky ones who had the opportunity to travel all over the states in Peninsular Malaysia even before we started entering our primary school. After we commenced school, travelings were limited only during the school holidays where we would be staying for more than 1 month or shorter either in hotel rooms or in a rented house where ever my Abah would be based temporarily.
I remember the names of big towns, small town and even villages very well since young. I would wake up early everyday and would leave the house or hotel right after subuh prayers and drive for miles to where ever there was a " Pekan Sari" or you may call it the weekly bazaar. If its a little too far, we would miss breakfast at home but would spend time with Abah having tosai, capati, nasi lemak bungkus or some nice pau & coffee at the kopitiam.
Those were the days , life was hard sometimes but i will always have fond memories traveling with Abah who is popularly known as Ahmad Teruki as he was from Turkey though his actual name is Achmad Habechi Emir .
I suppose my interest in business attributes to him as well.Everytime i followed and helped him at the Pekan Sari, i would be rewarded with 2 ringgit each day and that was big pocket money at that time. As a child me and the siblings were good at memorizing scientific names of medicines .I learned the word Paracetamol, Eucalyptus Oil, Oil of Caraway, Tinture Nux Vomica , Camphor etc in the 60's. These are some of the mixtures he used in his medicine.
My father would use loudspeakers to call his customers and explained in details the sickness, the remedy and uses of each medicine.He would sit on his chair and i would help to pack the bottles and collect the money from customers. During his heyday, he would have 4 or 5 vehicles with a few drivers & assistants. Those were the days .
When i get bored or hungry, i would walk around the " Pekan Sari" and buy some snacks to fill my tummy before we got home for a proper meal with the family. Putu piring, kacang rebus, jambu air, apam balik were some of my favorites. Normally before going home Abah will always buy fruits to bring home, see, that's why i love fruits.
Now i realize why i love visits to the bazaars, markets , pasar tani etc.From young i enjoy the colors, the smell of food, the noise & commotions in the "Pekan Sari". Visiting the bazaars now in a far away land means so much to me. Trying street food is a must and talking to strangers and making friends is a natural thing.
I did Tourism Administration in ITM Shah Alam and had a short stint at the Tourist Development Corporation from 1978-1982, Though for a short 5 years but i gained some valuable experience and some wonderful friends along the way. In between i traveled & stayed at many places in Malaysia following my husband Omar who was in the hotel line. Made more friends , developed new interests in small business and finally became a very successful Tupperware Manager that really brought me traveling all over the world. Along the way, i made so many friends especially foreigners who were my hostesses at my Tupperware Parties. I had so much fun and was in the business for more than 20 years! Tupperware brought me to Thailand, Hongkong, LA, Chendu & Beijing, Italy, New Zealand,South Africa, Spain etc.
One super lady that i like to say a big thank you is Hanim Jamil. She happens to be my aunty too. She was a great motivator not only to me but to thousands other Tupperware dealers in Malaysia, Singapore & Indonesia too. She creates the path for me , with Allah's blessings for a great traveling opportunities in Tupperware. She is a wonderful friend and a great traveling companion!
After a while i had other interest in life and i found it when we moved to Shah Alam, Selangor. ( To be continued)